Millennials are one of the most influential generations ever. They access information faster, get on social media easier, and are highly opinionated. Millennials are also savvy shoppers, and have different shopping needs than Generation X and Baby Boomers. While some studies indicate that Millennials spend more time browsing online and getting recommendations than older generations, others indicate that older generations spend more time browsing online and looking for competitive prices than Millennials do. Millennials are also significantly more into social media than previous generations. A CNN/ORC poll last year found that Millennials “spend more time on social media than every other group.” In the same poll, 67% of Americans said that they shop online, up 18 percentage points in the past 10 years. So how can the fitness industry (and other small businesses!) better serve this technologically savvy but often-in-“middling” crowd? Here are a few tips:
Use Google’s Search Improvements
It’s quite common for people to search for a specific product or service online. There may be many choices and even various pages of other products with similar specifications. The online equivalent of an Amazon or local store is a website that does the online searching for you. The most well-known example of such a site is Google Shopping. Google Shopping is a destination for anyone looking for an online price. The site is powered by Google’s artificial intelligence technology, which also powers search. Google Shopping uses real-time data on product prices to predict the best time to purchase. Based on what you need, Google Shopping lets you search the web to see the prices of nearby products (which it calls a “box”) to see what you should buy and look for the best price. Google uses price information from hundreds of vendors. A Google-powered website is one way to do real-time price comparisons between multiple merchants in your own area. Google Shopping also lets people compare the product prices of several local stores – as well as online retailers – and get a better idea of how prices are changing over time. If all else fails, it is possible to purchase similar products directly from the retailer. It takes all the guesswork out of price comparison shopping!
Affect of Social Media on SEO
Another way to give your business a more sophisticated online experience is to use social media. Social media now dominates digital conversations and helps with SEO. Studies have shown that people spend much more time on social media than they do on their desktop computers. But Twitter and Facebook are not enough. It’s important to encourage your customers to share posts and tweets about your business online with their networks, so that people who may not know you even exist may be exposed to your message. (You can use this kind of social media marketing to promote events, too.)
Utilize Expert Referral Networks
Ultimately, you have to give people the products and services that they want. This will ensure that they will come back, even if you give out what they consider to be a poor value. In order to offer this type of valuable product or service, businesses need to use expert referral networks. These networks allow you to tap into the expertise of other businesses that value what they are doing and trust your products or services. When your “advisers” recommend something to a customer, you get credit in their network, which will lead to more referrals from other experts, and more customers.